NEW YORK -- "How you gonna walk past me and not try my honey?" Andrew Cote shouted out at Eliot Spitzer. He didn't expect the line to work. But the former governor, who resigned from office five years ago after being caught up in a call-girl scandal, was drawn in by the Union Square Greenmarket grocer's cry, and purchased a small $20 bottle of the Brooklyn batch from Andrew's NYC Honey, which is collected from rooftop and balcony apiaries around the city.
It was just one more slightly surreal moment in the surreal hour-long first campaign appearance, following Spitzer's late-Sunday announcement that he intends to run for city comptroller.
Spitzer appeared shortly after noon in Manhattan's Union Square, ostensibly to collect signatures to get on the ballot for the September 10 Democratic primary. He was greeted by at least eight satellite news trucks, one cherry-picker, and more than 50 members of the press. They competed for space with each other, shoving and shouting in the sweltering summer heat for a moment of Spitzer's time until sweat poured down their faces and necks and Spitzer was as smeared and dripping as the mob that surrounded him, barking questions. Spitzer gamely stood amid the crushing throng in a navy pin-stripped suit, slowly rotating from camera bank to camera bank and taking queries flung over the elbowing, pawing cameramen to be recorded on devices held aloft by outstretched hand over outstretched hand. If he found the attention overwhelming, he gave no sign, staying on message and futilely declaring, "one more, one more" over and over, before continuing to take questions until the the scrum had traveled from the Union Square subway entrance up the length of the park and up onto lower Broadway. At 18th Street, he finally ducked into a yellow SUV cab and sped away.